day : 09/10/2012 12 results

West Seattle scenes: ‘Magic Wishing Pumpkins’ pop up

Three sightings of these “Magic Wishing Pumpkins” have been reported to us in the past two days … from two West Seattle neighborhoods. Top photo is from Dano, who says he happened onto them in the Alki area. They are accompanied by a poem, and a whimsical warning – he shared photos of both:

Dano reported, “Children walking by were making pumpkin wishes after reading the little Halloween poem….. So cool!” Then, two Junction sightings came in .. Desiree sent photos tonight that had the poem and warning on the same page, along with a smaller group of pumpkins, while this one was sent this morning by Mike, saying he saw one big “wishing pumpkin”:

Each of the three “warnings” in Dano, Desiree, and Mike’s photos suggests a different fate would befall a tamperer; the wish invitations, though, each have the same verbiage. To check that it’s not something mass-produced, we tried web searches … nothing comes up for “Magic Wishing Pumpkins,” so maybe they’re just … magic

Give a foster cat a forever home! Alki adopt-a-thon on Saturday

thecats.jpgThe official WSB mascots, both adopted from shelters as adults, are making a cameo tonight to point out that the Seattle Animal Shelter is bringing foster cats to Alki Community Center this Saturday (October 13), noon-3 pm. “If you have room in your home and your heart for an orphaned animal, this is a great opportunity to come and see some of the wonderful pets available from our foster-care parents,” says Don Jordan, Seattle Animal Shelter director, in the official news release. (We found our tortoiseshell at one of these adopt-a-thons, 10 years ago!) There of course are lots of great adoption opportunities in West Seattle year-round, but the city only comes by every so often. More fine print about the process, after the jump:

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Followup: Why West Seattle Stadium’s lights were on overtime

(WSB photo from 9 am Saturday)
If you checked in here this past Saturday – an unusually busy Saturday, news-wise – you might recall the saga of the West Seattle Stadium lights. We started getting messages and comments early Saturday morning from people saying the lights had been left on all night. (Bainbridge and Seattle Prep had played football there on Friday night; a WSB’er who refereed the game says the lights were off when he left.) Neighbors made phone calls; we even talked to a Seattle Parks (which owns the stadium) employee when we stopped by to get the photo above – but despite all that, the lights remained on till around 11 pm Saturday night.

We followed up with Parks on Monday. Joelle Hammerstad from the communications team looked into it, and over the course of the past two days, collected the following information on what happened and what’s being done about it:

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Niederberger Contracting: New West Seattle Blog sponsor

We’re welcoming Niederberger Contracting Ltd. as a new WSB sponsor today! Here’s what they would like you to know about their business:

As Seattle General Contractors for more than 17 years, Niederberger Contracting brings experienced, reliable professionals to your residential remodeling, home building and commercial improvement projects. We provide top quality construction services — from solid in-house framing specialists to artisian woodworkers and tile designers who have worked with us for years. Niederberger Contracting has earned a reputation for accountability and integrity by consistently exceeding customers’ expectations. Our relationship with customers is based on open communication and respect for our agreements. Clients appreciate our level of detail and dedication. The greatest testament to this relationship is that our clients recommend Niederberger Contracting to their family and friends and call on us again for their additional projects.

Call us to discuss your upcoming residential remodel or commercial improvement project. We offer a complimentary initial consultation and look forward to answering your questions about our building process. Let’s turn your conceptual ideas and drawings into a reality!

Niederberger Contracting is a local West Seattle company – brothers Josh and Seth Niederberger are West Seattleites active in supporting their community through school involvement, sponsorships, and coaching. Niederberger Contracting hosts Junior Carpenters Workshop” at Alki Bathhouse where kids participate in projects to build tool boxes, birdhouses and more. the team at Niederberger Contracting also support Seattle organizations such as YouthCare and the Ronald McDonald House. You can reach them by phone or e-mail.

We thank Niederberger Contracting for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Shots fired into apartment, no injuries

October 9, 2012 2:59 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Crime Watch: Shots fired into apartment, no injuries
 |   Crime | West Seattle news

SPD Blotter has details this afternoon on an early-morning incident near 27th and Cambridge (map) – shots fired into an apartment. Six people were inside, police say, but no one was hurt; SPD says 18 casings were found outside. This is just a few blocks east of the 30th SW Saturday morning shooting that injured one man, with the suspect jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail; there’s no indication at this point of any link.

New BEX IV levy draft: Arbor Heights still scheduled for 2019 replacement

(Last slide from Arbor Heights deck showing building conditions – see entire deck here)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:34 PM: Despite a loud community clamor, Arbor Heights Elementary‘s rebuild is NOT being moved up on the next draft of the BEX IV levy, just announced this afternoon, with a School Board work session coming up tomorrow. Here’s the message Superintendent José Banda just sent out, with the highlights of the latest list – we’ll be checking district documents to look for further details as soon as they are available:

… Today we are writing to update you on our enrollment growth challenges. We have two levies up for renewal in February 2013 – our Operations Levy and our Building Excellence (BEX IV) IV Capital Levy.

Our BEX IV levy will include a list of recommended projects for 2014-2021, which we are presenting to the School Board at a work session on Oct. 10. A final vote by the Board is expected in November.
Below is a summary of currently proposed projects under consideration for BEX IV:

· Arbor Heights Elementary: Replace existing building with new/expanded facility by 2019. The school will be at an interim site starting in 2017. We understand the building is in need of replacement, but we will not have enough cash flow from levy funding to move this project up within BEX. However, we will analyze the pros and cons of other funding options to hopefully start this work sooner.

· Bagley Elementary: Modernize and build an addition by 2020.

· Fairmount Park building: Open this existing building with necessary upgrades, add classrooms and a lunchroom by 2014.

· Jane Addams K-8: Move to Pinehurst K-8 and open Jane Addams building as a middle school by 2015. We will work with the Pinehurst community on next steps for the school.

· Lincoln building: Modernize and open as a new high school by 2019.

· Loyal Heights Elementary: Modernize and build addition by 2018.

· Mann building: Modernize and build addition for NOVA by 2014

· Meany Middle School: Reconfigure for a comprehensive central region middle school by 2017.

· Northeast Seattle elementary school: To meet growing capacity, add K-5 school on Thornton Creek site by 2016.

· Olympic Hills: Replace existing building with a new/expanded facility by 2017.

· Queen Anne Elementary: Build classroom and gym addition to the building by 2019.

· Schmitz Park Elementary: Replace existing Genesee Hill building with a new/expanded facility on the Genesee Hill site; relocate Schmitz Park to the new facility by 2015.

· Wilson-Pacific: Replace building with a new elementary and a new middle school for additional capacity by 2017. We will work with the Cascade Parent Partnership Program and Middle College on determining new locations.

· Wing Luke Elementary: Replace existing building with a new/expanded facility by 2020.

· World School: We are continuing to work on finalizing a location.

These projects were chosen with four criteria in mind: 1) safety and security, 2) meeting capacity needs, 3) building condition and 4) maximizing flexibility for programs and services.

In addition, the BEX IV plan includes:

· Technology improvements: Wireless in every school and needed hardware upgrades.

· Seismic improvements: About 50 schools would receive seismic upgrades.

· Lunchroom and core facilities: New lunchrooms at Green Lake and McGilvra elementary schools.

· Science labs at Aki Kurose, Mercer, McClure and Eckstein middle schools.

· Major preventive maintenance and infrastructure improvements.

· Interim downtown school: Dependent upon external partnership funding.

· Capacity flexibility: Building larger core facilities to provide for expansion and including academic program placement and services close to where families live.
The latest BEX IV list of possible projects totals about $675 million. Additional information is online at

We invite families and community members to attend a public meeting to learn more about the BEX projects and to offer public testimony.

· Wednesday, Oct. 10, 4-6 p.m. – Board Work Session, John Stanford Center (information only, no public testimony).

· Wednesday, Oct. 17, 4:15 p.m. – Regular School Board meeting, expected introduction of BEX IV list. Public testimony taken (prior sign-up required).

· Wednesday, Oct. 24, 4-5 p.m. – BEX IV and Operations levies public comment session, John Stanford Center. Public testimony taken.

· Wednesday, Nov. 7, 4:15 p.m. – School Board meeting, expected vote on BEX IV project list.
In the meantime, we continue to collect, record and review all input. Please send comments to


Jose´ Banda
Seattle Public Schools

More to come.

2:38 PM UPDATE: Just a note to say that we are still trying to find the documentation that goes along with this – it has not been published to the SPS website yet so far as we can tell, but, likely before day’s end, there should be a slide deck at the very least. Will update once we have that link.

5:04 PM UPDATE: The presentation for tomorrow’s work session is now up. Here’s the link. Will add to this story if it contains anything of note NOT reported in the superintendent’s letter.

5:22 PM UPDATE: Of note, in light of the most recent community meetings and other West Seattle discussions – STEM is mentioned as “a program” on page 24, in district-wide context, not WS. However, the same language was in the September version of this slide deck (which you’ll find here). Page 30 of the new slide deck summarizes “most frequent comments” from the last round of community meetings and mentions two from West Seattle: “Arbor Heights Elementary: Build sooner” and “K-5 STEM at Boren: Find permanent home.” (Which the new lineup still doesn’t address.)

Roxhill Castle update: Lots of volunteers still needed, stat

As our photo from this morning shows, Roxhill Park is a very busy construction zone right now, with the skatespot and playground-renovations site both in progress. As mentioned here last week, the community build date for the new Roxhill Castle play structure is coming up fast – just a few weeks away, November 2-6 – but could be canceled/postponed if enough volunteers can’t be rounded up. The company that made the old Roxhill Castle – which was deteriorating and had to be replaced for safety’s sake – and the new one, Leathers and Associates, only puts in “community-built” structures – as the slogan on their website puts it, “Community-built builds community.”

Local advocate/organizer Mat McBride is spearheading the community aspect of this project and was making the rounds of three meetings last night (we heard him speak to the North Delridge Neighborhood Council) to explain what’s needed – 70 volunteers (must be at least 18) per shift per day during the build. Plus, tools and food for those volunteers. If you can lend a hand, please sign up ASAP – if “a certain level of volunteer commitment” is not achieved soon, “the build dates might be canceled,” he says. It’ll just take a few hours out of a day – but you’ll be making a difference for all the kids who will play there in the years ahead. Sign-up information and more is on this website: – or just go here. Questions about the project?

Be ready for anything! See you at Arbor Heights ‘Emergency Reach Out’

(Click image to get full-size flyer [PDF])
On Saturday, October 20th, you have a chance to get ready for anything – winter weather, other types of emergencies/disasters – at a fun and important event in Arbor Heights; we at WSB are proud to be part of it. It’s the “Emergency Reach Out,” and it’s NOT your average “sit down and watch PowerPoints” type of event – it’s a place to get information, meet neighbors, learn, and enjoy. With treats! Here’s the plan:

Learn about emergency preparedness and connect with your community.

Arbor Heights Elementary School received an Emergency and Disaster Preparedness grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. As part of this grant they will be hosting an Emergency Preparedness Workshop Event at the school (3701 S.W. 104th Street) for parents and neighbors in the Arbor Heights area and surrounding communities in West Seattle and White Center on Saturday, October 20th, from 10:00 to 2:00.

What would you do if there was a natural disaster or emergency? Would you be prepared? What about your family, friends, and neighbors? Leaders and experts will provide you with the emergency preparedness know-how and tools to get you and your loved ones ready for the “just in case.”

These organizations will be there to provide vital information: American Red Cross, Cool Moms, Make It Through, Seattle Animal Shelter, Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP), Seattle Police Department’s Living Room Conversations, Seattle Public Utilities, West Seattle Be Prepared, West Seattle Blog, West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network, and the YMCA.

There is no charge to attend and you do not need to live in the Arbor Heights area. People can attend all 4 hours or any portion of this time. The tentative schedule of presentations is as follows:

10:00 – 10:30 West Seattle Be Prepared
10:30 – 10:45 West Seattle Block Watch and Seattle Public Utilities
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:00 SNAP (Seattle Neighborhoods Activily Prepare)
Noon – 12:30 Break
12:30 – 1:15 Red Cross
1:15 – 1:35 Seattle Animal Shelter
1:35 – 2:00 Seattle Fire Department

FREE Latte and Pastry Cart from 10:00 to Noon.

Snacks and grill items available for purchase from BigFood Trucks.

Amazing Raffle Prizes and Gifts for attendees.

And if you didn’t get to the West Seattle Junction Car Show in time for the first-ever WSB-branded freebie – the lovely ice scrapers shown below – come to “Emergency Reach Out” to get one – we’ve ordered another couple boxes:

10 am-2 pm on Saturday, October 20th, Arbor Heights Elementary, 3701 SW 104th (map) – see you there!

West Seattle Tuesday: Youth-music benefit; Admiral, Fauntleroy, DESC meetings; seafood safety…

October 9, 2012 9:51 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Tuesday: Youth-music benefit; Admiral, Fauntleroy, DESC meetings; seafood safety…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Monday evening photo of Mount Rainier, by Nick Adams for WSB)
With this day starting off in cloud mode, we’re glad to have so many breathtaking photos to revisit from Monday’s sunset/orca visit – see them here and here. The forecast says the sun should return before day’s end, but for now, it’s time to look ahead to what’s up tonight INDOORS. From the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:

NEW HOURS AT LA ROMANZA BISTRO ITALIANO: As of today, La Romanza Bistro Italiano (WSB sponsor) in The Junction is open six nights a week (Tuesdays-Sundays) for dinner, till 10 pm. To make that happen, La Romanza is no longer serving weekday lunch – though weekend jazz brunch is still on! (They’re also currently running their autumn special – handmade pumpkin ravioli.)

TUESDAY TUNE-UP TO BENEFIT SEATTLE YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: SYSO helps young musicians in West Seattle public schools – and you can help that work by dropping by the Tuesday Tune-Up at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor; 1936 Harbor Avenue SW) 6:30-8:30 pm tonight – details here.

DESC DELRIDGE PROJECT ADVISORY COMMITTEE: With construction starting in about a month, after recent demolition work on the site (WSB coverage here), DESC‘s 66-unit “supportive housing” project at 5444 Delridge Way SW is moving into a new phase, and its community advisory committee continues to meet. You are invited at 6:30 pm tonight at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), with the agenda including, as described on the North Delridge e-mail list, “updates on the construction schedule (groundbreaking in early Nov.) and the status of the Delridge Produce Co-op as the potential commercial tenant. Also on the agenda is a general planning session for the committee to determine future meeting topics.”

WEST SEATTLE SEE DOGS: Raise a puppy to be a guide dog! Find out what it’s really like by visiting the West Seattle See Dogs’ meeting tonight, 6:30 pm, at The Kenney (WSB sponsor; 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW).

SEAFOOD – IT’S HEALTHY, BUT IS IT SAFE? Come talk about it during a “Public Health Café” tonight at Chaco Canyon Organic Café (38th and Alaska), 6:30-8 pm. Details in the calendar listing.

DEVELOPMENT IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? Learn more about how to find out what’s headed your way, when a DPD planner speaks to the Admiral Neighborhood Association during its regular meeting tonight, 7 pm, Admiral Congregational Church lower-level meeting room (south side of the church at California/Hill).

FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: Its board meets at 7 pm, Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, with topics sure to include this Sunday’s Fauntleroy Fall Festival (see the updated schedule of events here!).

As always, there’s even more for today/tonight – and FAR beyond! – on WSB our calendar!

Scholarships available! Application time for Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu

October 9, 2012 9:15 am
|    Comments Off on Scholarships available! Application time for Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu
 |   West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news

Even as winter approaches, it’s time to look ahead to the 2013 West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival, now accepting applications from prospective royalty – with scholarship money up for grabs:

Candidates benefit from our commitment to personal, professional, and academic development. The program offers individual mentoring by a successful businesswoman, cash scholarship awards, community service opportunities, and career preparation sessions in public speaking and presentation.

The Scholarship Program was revised in 2011, shortening the commitment from 2 summers to 1 summer. Judged events and Coronation take place in the Winter and in Spring with the newly crowned court moving right into the Summer festivities. A Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Queen and two Princesses are crowned receiving scholarships of $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. Additional individual achievement scholarships, such as academic, performance, athletic, or entrepreneurship are typically awarded by community sponsors.

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Metro bus changes, week 2, weekday 2: Checking in again

(Added mid-morning: RapidRide bus headed east on SW Alaska in The Junction)
While Monday was the first day of Metro‘s addition of two buses each to the peak a.m. and p.m. RapidRide C Line commutes from and to West Seattle, some suggested that it wouldn’t be a true test because of the federal holiday, so we’re welcoming rider reports again today. P.S. The Eastside also has had a problem forcing a Metro change, reports Seattle Times (WSB partner) transportation reporter Mike Lindblom.

West Seattle Whale Watch: Sunset orcas, photo round 2

(Click photo for larger image)
Orcas are a beautiful sight in any weather – but their presence in West Seattle waters during the Monday sunset was just over the top. Earlier, we showed you community-contributed photos; now, photos by WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams, who also was out with the whale-watchers, here south of Alki Point:

Some watched from the water:

And the centers of attention did not disappoint:

(Click photo for larger image)
At Lowman Beach, people strained to keep the orcas in view until it was too dark to see:

The question now – will we see the whales again tomorrow?

(Click photo for larger image)
Let us know if you see them – and we’ll share the news. (Thanks to those who provided updates today, including Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail.)